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Beyond Tea: Alcohol-free reception drinks

By : Frances Badgett

We all know that for many wedding guests, reception equals free drinks, but there are always people in any given group who don’t want to imbibe. Providing alternatives to champagne and signature cocktails is about more than just setting up some two-liter bottles of ginger ale on a card table—you want these guests to feel as included and as welcome as the rest of the partiers. It’s also nice to have those alternatives available for guests who are drinking, who might want to cut some of that alcoholic indulgence with a few sips of seltzer.


The most important step is to make sure that your alternative drink selections are as thoughtful as your 

crowded. Most non-drinkers know that cocktails mean mixers, and that's usually a pretty great thing for them, but it doesn’t hurt to put a little extra thought into making the event inclusive.


Last, remember that the success of your reception doesn’t lie in what it looks like or whether or not there’s an amazing flash mob, but in whether or not your guests’ memories are as happy as yours. One step in that direction is making sure you’re including the needs of as many guests as possible in your choices. Yes, it’s your day, but it’s their day, too. 

wine and champagne selections. If you’re getting good cases of wine and sparkly for the drinkers, provide a few high-end alternatives for the nondrinkers. Stones Throw Brewery makes an excellent ginger ale and Chuckanut Brewery makes a great root beer. A few kegs of those and your sober guests will be delighted.

Receptions these days are featuring more and more mixologists who craft signature cocktails for the happy couple and guests. To ensure your non-drinkers are comfortable, create virgin versions of the signature cocktails, or have the mixologist make up a cocktail just for them. The dance floor won’t be less 

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